Play Poker Online In the U.S Archive

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Monday, July 8th, 2013
American Gaming Association Once Again Not Backing PokerStars Atlantic City Deal        While PokerStars may be celebrating its recent deal to partner with the Atlantic City land-based casino Resorts in an Internet gambling venture, not everyone is thrilled about the turn of events.

More specifically, the American Gaming Association, a powerful gambling industry group, says that it plans to oppose PokerStars’ entry into the regulated New Jersey online gambling market.

AGA previously came out against Atlantic Club deal

Earlier this year, the AGA made headlines when it announced that it did not support a now defunct deal that PokerStars was negotiating to take over a struggling Atlantic City casino, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel.

The agreement began to unravel in April, when the Atlantic Club notified the parent company of PokerStars, Isle of Man-based the Rational Group, that it was terminating the purchase contract owing to the fact that the Rational Group failed to secure an interim operating license to run the casino prior to a drop-dead date stipulated in the contract.

PokerStars sued to be able to complete the purchase, however earlier this month a judge upheld an earlier court decision that ruled in favor of the Atlantic Club. The two companies had been negotiating the takeover since last year, and despite the fact that early rumors put the purchase price in the $50 million range, the actual price of $15 million came as a shock to many. Even more shocking was the fact that PokerStars had already paid $11 million of that sum before the deal began to come undone, money which the Atlantic Club is permitted to keep under the terms of the contract.

For its part, the AGA is opposed to PokerStars operating any form of business in the United States, be it a land-based casino or an online poker room, because of what it sees as PokerStars’ flouting of the UIGEA by continuing to offer US-facing online poker games after the law was enacted back in 2006.

Newly-retired former president backs online gambling, just not PokerStars 

Last month the AGA underwent a major change when its CEO and president, Frank Fahrenkopf, stepped down from his leadership role. Fahrenkopf announced his plans to turn over the helm of the group several months ago, however he plans to stay on as a consultant through 2013. While Fahrenkopf backs regulation of online gambling at the federal level, he has been vocally opposed to PokerStars’ inclusion in the US market.

Even without Fahrenkopf, who until last month was the only president the organization has known since its founding back in 1994, the group plans to maintain its opposition to PokerStars operating in the United States. Both PokerStars and Resorts will need to be licensed separately by the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement before they can launch real-money online gambling sites. Industry pundits have posited that PokerStars has a very good chance of winning the approval of regulators, considering the fact that the company was quite close to completing the process when the Atlantic Club deal fell apart.

Speaking to the changes the US gambling industry has seen since the AGA’s inception nearly two decades ago, the Nevada-born Fahrenkopf told USA Today back in January, “We’re a mainstream part of the economy now, with hundreds of thousands of people employed in casinos nationwide. We do polls every year and it’s pretty consistent: 15 percent of people oppose all forms of gambling. You’ll never change them and all we can do is respect their views. But 80 percent believe gaming is all right, and that’s a very positive thing for our industry.”

Fahrenkopf previously served as the chairman of the Republic National Committee from 1983 until he left that post in 1989.

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Delaware Releases Draft Online Gaming Regulations

 

The Government of the US state of Delaware has released the draft proposal of its online regulations for comment by the state’s public.

Delaware is set to launch an online gaming industry in September, which will follow Nevada, which was the first US state to launch regulated online gaming back in April. The draft regulations are 27 pages long are available for comment by the Delaware pubic until the end of July.

The draft regulations state that the Delaware State Lottery will oversee the state’s online gaming industry when it is established, which would be different to how Nevada and New Jersey’s industries are run. In those states, the online gaming industry is run by state gaming regulators.

 

 

article by Bruno  de Paiva

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PokerStars Makes Deal to Enter Online Gaming Market in New JerseyPokerStars and Resorts Casino Hotel have announced a partnership agreement that will permit the world’s leading online poker site to provide online gaming software in New Jersey.

Just one day following the revelation that PokerStars was again prevented by New Jersey courts from succeeding in their quest to buy the Atlantic Club casino comes the news that parent company Rational Group has found another way to finagle into the U.S. market. The full details of the partnership agreement have not yet been released, but both companies are ecstatic to be joining forces.

“Resorts is a fantastic partner for us and we are looking forward to launch PokerStars in the U.S. in association with the other quality brands Resorts has brought to Atlantic City,” said Mark Scheinberg, Rational Group CEO.  “We are very happy to invest in New Jersey and we are excited about building a successful relationship with Resorts.”

Resorts Casino Hotel was the first brick and mortar to open on the Atlantic City boardwalk and has previously established partnerships with other brands such as Margaritaville and Mohegan Sun. “This [PokerStars] is another blue chip partner for Resorts to complete a wonderful series of brands,” Resorts’ Company Chairman Morris Bailey told a PRNewswire reporter.

New Jersey gaming officials must still approve the partnership agreement. It’s natural to assume that the American Gaming Association will again try to intervene in keeping PokerStars from gaining the green light to form an allegiance with the landmark casino.

PokerStars has been eyeing the U.S. online poker market for quite some time. Many believe that the deal brokered with the DoJ last year that saw Rational Group acquire Full Tilt Poker was done partly to get in the good graces of U.S. authorities. PokerStars did receive the DoJ’s blessing to enter the market if possible.

In the absence of federal online poker legislation, individual states have been enacting their own laws and some are including bad actor language to keep out the likes of PokerStars, who continued operating in the U.S. post-UIGEA. New Jersey has no such provisions in its statute, making the Garden State the best opportunity to get a foot in the door of the U.S. market.

That door has now been opened by Resorts Casino and PokerStars wants in. It will be up to state gaming officials to decide upon PokerStars’ suitability as a partner. PokerStars has shown tremendous tenacity in striving to be included in the newly-regulated online poker and gambling market in the U.S. I wouldn’t bet against them at this point.

 

article by Charles Rettmuller

 

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PokerStars To Fight Kentucky in Court

Posted June 27, 2013 By martin

The USA is full of contrasting laws that seem to keep everyone guessing what’s what. An issue that stems back to 2008 in the State of Kentucky when 140 online gambling domains were seized based on the state’s legal definition of the confiscated domains as “gambling devices” illegally offering services to residents has again surfaced.
The parent firms of online poker operator PokerStars have filed a motion to dismiss with prejudice the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s claim on the PokerStars.com domain name. Kentucky made a similar claim at the federal level following the US Department of Justice’s seizure of PokerStars.com domain on April 15, 2011.
The latter claim resulted in the federal government writing a cheque in exchange for the state dropping its claims on AbsolutePoker.com and UltimateBet.com. Kentucky announced its $6m remittance it announced its intent to pursue the claim against PokerStars.com.

Lawyers for Rational Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. and Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd. contend that Kentucky has never provided the firms with notice that the PokerStars.com domain had been targeted, nor allowed them the opportunity to challenge the alleged seizure in any court.

The parent companies also challenge Kentucky’s very broad definition of “gambling devices.” Both firms note that the state’s own Court of Appeals rejected the inclusion of domains as gambling devices when the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association contested the 2008 domain seizures, an opinion that was not challenged when the state Supreme Court reviewed the case one year later.

Paying the State of Kentucky has released another firm Bwin.party digital entertainment from any possible sanctions after Bwin. party paid Kentucky $15 million for civil suit violations back in 2010. The governor of Kentucky Steve Beshear, said in praise of Bwin.party for, “making every effort to comply with the laws of the United States.” It may be a less than profitable move by PokerStars to fight Kentucky while pursuing a license to operate in New Jersey.

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Player Drafts His Own Online Poker Legislation

Posted June 24, 2013 By martin

PokerXanadu Internet Wagering Citizens Protection Act

In an attempt to reduce the friction in the legislative process, avid poker enthusiast Martin Shapiro, better known by his forum screen name PokerXanadu, has authored a document the he hopes is both friendly to players and can garner enough support from special interest groups to be passed into law.

At both the state and federal level in the US, legislators have had difficult time crafting online poker legislation that is acceptable to the wide array of stakeholders. To date only Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada have been able to enact laws regulating online poker though many more states, as well as federal lawmakers, have tried to do so in recent years.

Shapiro believes his document can serve as a guideline for lawmakers to understand the protections that are important to poker-playing consumers while at the same time creating a bill that is “passable in today’s political climate.”

“I undertook this venture because no one else was doing it,” Shapiro told pokerfuse. “Every bill that has been introduced to Congress to date has been an incomplete bill and which isn’t passable because it is partisan to a limited number of vested interests.”

“I thought it time to come out with a bill which covers every issue, preserves all the protections and rights of players and sufficiently meets the needs of all the major vested interests in a compromise with which they can support.”

Internet Wagering Citizens Protection Act

The bill, currently a work in progress, would legalize online poker but restrict other forms of online gambling.

The Act combines what Shapiro sees as the best of previously introduced legislation including provisions from current federally proposed bills by US Representatives King and Barton, and various other attempted legislative efforts.

Shapiro’s act is in depth and covers such topics as licensing, taxation of operators and consumers, enforcement measures, regulatory oversight, consumer protections, and updates to existing federal laws including the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), The Wire Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA). Shapiro has even included his own version of a “bad actor clause.”

“I included a bad actors clause because I don’t think a bill would be able to pass the current Congress without one,” Shapiro said. However, he believes that “true bad actors” deserve no place in the newly regulated US market.

“I don’t think there is anyone so far that would be excluded [under the terms of his proposed legislation] except for a few who were convicted for offering sports wagering. In the future, this provision will protect us from true bad actors.”

Shapiro is soliciting feedback on his work from the poker community.

“My greatest hope is that someone with influence in DC will carry this bill forward.” Shapiro plans to present his work to Reps. King and Barton as well as US Senators from Nevada, Harry Reid and Dean Heller, both of whom have spoken out in favor of federal regulation of online poker.

By Michael Gentile

July 22, 2013

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